Meniscus Surgery and Repair for a Meniscus Tear
More than 800,000 meniscus surgeries are performed in the United States every year, making it one of the most common surgeries undertaken to restore stability and relieve pain among patients. At the same time, depending on the injury type, some people can live with a meniscus tear that heals on its own and they may never even know it.
To understand the wide range of circumstances and treatments, and help determine the differences of treatment from “living with it” to meniscus surgery, it’s important to understand the role of the meniscus as the knee’s “shock absorber.”
The meniscus is made up of thick, slippery cartilage and acts as a separator cushion between the thigh and shin bones. It’s designed to protect the femur and tibia from grinding against one another, allowing us to run, jump, and move without the pain of bone-on-bone contact.
Injury to the meniscus typically occurs when the knee is stretched beyond its range of flexibility, which can result in this band of cartilage being ripped or torn and rendering the knee painfully unstable. Degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis can also cause damage that may require meniscus surgery.
If someone sustains a tear that requires meniscus surgery, they’ll likely know it; an unforgettable “popping” sound followed quickly by inflammation, pain, and stiffness. The tell-tale signs of meniscus tears also include a general feeling of mechanical locking or instability, pain in being unable to move the knee through its normal range of motion such as walking up and downstairs.
Although athletes are especially at risk for meniscus tears, anyone can suffer from meniscus tears regardless of age or activity. OCC’s surgeons have extensive experience in sports medicine and the latest techniques in meniscus surgery.
At Orthopedic Centers of Colorado, your surgeon will weigh your symptoms, activity and fitness level, age, and other factors when evaluating and determining a treatment plan. If pain is not acute and needs immediate surgery, the first option would be conservative treatment such as RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Physical therapy would also be a consideration.
If the intensity of pain worsens or other complications present themselves, your surgeon might determine meniscus surgery is the best solution.
Many meniscus surgeries are arthroscopic and done on an outpatient basis. The goal of meniscus surgery is to save healthy tissue, remove or repair damaged tissue, and in some circumstances remove or replace the meniscus.
Meniscus injuries can be incredibly disruptive to daily life. OCC’s highly trained surgeons and physicians are backed by a supportive team of administrative and clinical professionals who take a personalized, focused, and comprehensive approach to your orthopedic health. Our goal is to be your first choice for meniscus care. From scheduling and imaging to physical therapy and more, we are committed to providing the best experience and outcomes for each patient. Our offices are conveniently located across the front range and it’s easy to make an appointment. Find the provider that fits your needs and contact us today.